Mother says authorities unresponsive after dog attacks child

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August 15, 2006

A young beauty queen in Harlem may need plastic surgery after she was attacked by a dog.

The incident happened two weeks ago, but the child's mother says nothing has been done...and she's speaking out so it doesn't happen again.

Six-year-old Shayline hasn't been able to sleep well since the attack.

"She's had bad dreams," her mother, Chastity Foster, told News 12. "The second night, she didn't sleep at all."

Remembering all too well the day a pit bull mix took a chunk out of her leg.

"There was a person swinging me, then I was crying," Shayline recalled. "And someone said Blaze bit me."

Foster says they were at a gathering at a friend's house when the dog allegedly attacked.

Since then, she says, the owner hasn't taken any responsibility for the gashes left behind.

"She should've left with the dog, but didn't. She stayed there and let the dog bite someone else."

After last year's vicious pit bull attack that nearly tore off a woman's right arm, Foster wants action taken against the dog.

"This was my child's leg, but it could've been her throat."

But when she called Animal Control, she got the runaround.

Aiken County told her that because the dog's owner resides in Richmond County, it's in their jurisdiction. But Richmond County says it's Aiken County's responsibility, because that's where the attack happened.

"It seemed like everyone wanted to pass it on someone else; no one wanted to say this was wrong," Foster said.

Augusta's Animal Services director, Randy Teasley, says the case has to be turned over to them before Richmond County can charge the owner with failure to control an animal.

"If a dog bites with provocation we quarantine, we hold it until the court surrenders it, then we euthanize it," he said.

"What is it going to take, him eating a child's face before somebody's like, 'Oh, yeah, he needs to be taken away from his owner'?" Foster asked.

Aiken County's Animal Services requires three documented bites before a dog can be euthanized.

The dog's owner declined to comment.